By Mehdi Mohaghegh, Ph.D., School of Business and Management
This year over winter break, I was once again honored to lead a trip abroad with students. Six students from the School of Business and Management and I spent 10 days in Chile learning about the cultural attributes and economic achievements of a South American country which has become one of the better developed economies in the region and a successful story in Latin America.
We flew to Chile’s capital of Santiago on Tuesday, January 3, and continued on to Puerto Montt the next day. While in Puerto Montt we attended a three-day International Business and Economy Conference where the students learned about some of the contemporary economic issues in Latin America and the rest of the world. Students also had the chance to converse and interact with graduate students and professors from universities in other countries such as Germany, Norway, Czech Republic, Austria, Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, and some other Latin American countries. Our trip to Chile continued when the conference in Puerto Montt was over and we moved back to Santiago on Saturday, January 7, and stayed there for another six days.
During that time, we explored the historical areas of Santiago, visiting three museums and various architectural landmarks. We travelled to Valparaiso, a major port in Chile, after visiting a vineyard along the way. We also attended a cultural show and a traditional Chilean music concert, which included folk dancing. Other points of interest included a visit to poet Pablo Neruda’s house, which has been converted into a museum to educate about his famous poetry and his efforts to counter the dictatorship in his country. Overall, the students learned about the economy and socio-cultural attributes of Chile and the country’s interesting and strange geographical characteristics.
During our trip, we discussed Chile’s rapid economic development and the fact that it could not have taken place had the country not opened up its economy to foreign investment and free trade with the United States and other countries three decades ago.
Our trip ended on Friday, January13, 2017, when everyone returned safely back to their families before returning to Norwich for the spring semester. This highly educational trip was made possible because the Politi scholarship committee recognized its merits and provided a $6,000 scholarship for it.